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Por: Marshall Kirby, Public Policy Analyst

Con  la colaboración de Justin Velez-Hagan, National Executive Director

Traducido por: Julia Cortazar

23 de noviembre de 2010, Washington, D.C. – Puerto Rico ha sido fuertemente afectada por la crisis económica mundial.  En la actualidad, la cifra oficial de desempleo trepa a una tasa del 17%, la cual no incluye a los subempleados y a quienes han dejado de buscar empleo. Al mismo tiempo, hay escasez de mano de obra en el sector agrícola. Desde la semana pasada en Puerto Rico se está discutiendo el Proyecto de Ley 1038, el cual permitirá la importación, de manera temporaria, de mano de obra extranjera para la cosecha del grano de café y otras cosechas. (Para mayor información sobre este tema haga clic aquí)

Existen dos cuestiones importantes en juego –la primera desde la perspectiva empresarial y económica– los cultivos y las tierras sembradas necesitan ser cosechadas. Cada año, hay una caída en la producción por la falta de trabajo físico en las cosechas. Esto lleva a una ineficiencia en la producción y, eventualmente, podría causar que la isla pierda competitividad en la producción de café y otros productos agrícolas. Read the rest of this entry »


By: Marshall Kirby, Public Policy Analyst

With contributions by: Justin Velez-Hagan, National Executive Director

November 23 2010, Washington, D.C. – Puerto Rico has been hit very hard in the global economic crisis.  Currently, there is an official 17% unemployment rate, which does not include the underemployed and those who have given up looking for work.  Yet, at the same time, there is a shortage of labor in the agricultural sector.  As of last week, Puerto Rico is discussing Bill 1038, which will in essence allow the Commonwealth to import foreign labor on a temporary basis to assist with the coffee bean and other harvests.  [For more information on the policy, click here]

There are two important issues at play – one is from the business and economics perspective – the crops and the fields need to be harvested.  Each year, there is wasted production and wasted output because the fields lack the physical labor needed to bring them to harvest.  This leads to inefficiency of production, and could eventually cause the island to lose any competitive edge it has in the production of coffee and other agricultural endeavors.  The second issue is that there is inefficiency in the labor market if there is an excess of labor (which 17% unemployment clearly shows) and unwillingness for Puerto Rican’s to work as laborers in the agricultural sector.  This is not a new phenomenon; we have seen this for a long time in the lower 48 of the United States.  Macroeconomics teaches us that an economy will never have a 0% unemployment rate, due to seasonal, frictional, and structural factors. Read the rest of this entry »

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